This week, I am going to tell you a story about how my ego exposed itself and how I used it to increase my chance of success.
But before that, I am going to give you a definition ego.
Your ego is a perception of you, created in your mind to define who you are.
It is built from your experiences and what people said to you.
As it is just a perception, you can influence and change it.
You will recognise it when you think about yourself i.e. I am a great leader, I am a great swimmer, I am a legend on the dance floor.
Your ego constantly looks for evidence that it is correct and tends to ignore evidence to the contrary.
Me and my ego
During my training as a coach, I am evaluated by my mentor during a number of practical assessments. This is where I have a coaching session with one of my clients and my mentor listens in.
At the end of the coaching session, I reflect with my mentor on what went well and what needs improvement.
The assessment is graded as either a fail, pass, merit or distinction.
As I improved during my training and coaching sessions with my clients, my grades in my practical assessments also improved.
On my 3rd practical assessment, I was given some great feedback and was graded with a merit. This was positive evidence that I was becoming a good coach.
My 4th practical assessment was a month later and I thought it went really well. I was looking forward to a good grade again. My mentor gave me some feedback on where I could improve and graded me as a pass.
I thanked my mentor and hung up the call.
A pass, what happened?
My mentor must be wrong. It was a great coaching session.
I am a good coach, my clients tell me all the time.
I am going to call my mentor and challenge the feedback.
Wait I thought, let me cool off and think about it this afternoon. I will call my mentor in the morning.
That afternoon, I reflected on the feedback my mentor had given me and played the coaching session back in my head over and over again. All of a sudden it him me, my mentor was right.
Can you imagine if I had called my mentor and challenged her?
I would have looked like a right idiot.
My ego was getting in my way. It was ignoring the evidence that I was not as good as I think I am.
Right I am going to learn from this and I am going to get a merit in my next assessment.
I used this feedback in the following coaching sessions and a month later I had my 5th practical assessment.
I was really nervous as the 5th assessment carries a lot of weight in my final coaching diploma grade.
At the end of the assessment, my mentor and I discussed what I did well and what I could improve on. My mentor was really pleased with my progress and graded me as a distinction.
I hung up the call and immediately told my family.
The learning and hard work has paid off.
I am a good coach after all, or am I?
As you can see, my ego almost got in the way of me learning, improving and becoming a better coach.
This has taught me a very important lesson. Be aware of my ego by always reflecting on the feedback I receive.
I think Albert Einstein sums up my experience really well –
Ego = 1 / knowledge
“More the knowledge lesser the ego, lesser the knowledge more the ego.”
The next time, you get feedback, reflect and listen for your ego.
Do not let your ego get in the way of your success.
Your virtual coach & mentor